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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 - Legal vs. Ethical Issues

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Hywel Morgan

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PSY240H5 – Introduction toAbnormal Psychology Lecture 3 – January 20, 2014 Legal vs. Ethical Issues - Ethics – things that you should do o Ethics = Guidelines o Example: don’t have intercourse with your client o Consequences: lose job (no fine) - Laws – things you have to do o Law = rules o Consequences: financial or freedom - Our laws are based on ethics What is Legal? - Are things that you have to do; they are laws Legal Issues - People in social conflict o People who are behaving abnormally, but are not in social conflict, are typically not seeking treatment o Example: if you are highly anxious, but it doesn’t affect others, you are typically not going to seek treatment o When it becomes a social conflict, it becomes a legal issue - Power of mental health professionals o Will decide, professionally, what is abnormal behaviour (which isn’t always easy to define) o Example: hitting someone out of no where, may be considered abnormal  You hit someone because you don’t like them = normal  You hit someone because you think they are a tree = abnormal o Mental health professional have the power to testify, but doesn’t get to decide what is normal and not normal – the court does Canadian Legal System - There are three levels: - Constitutional Law o You are given basic rights by the Canadian Constitution Law o One of the basic rights: If you are found to be not responsible for your actions, you cannot be convicted of a crime o There are two concepts required:  Actus rea – you have committed a crime  Mensrea - Requires that you understand what you have is done is wrong - Stautory Law o Come from the province of Ontario o Is the province’s interpretation of Constitutional Law (which is broad) - Common Law o In NorthAmerica, all states and provinces use Common Law o Not in Quebec or France – they have Civil Right o Common Law is precedent o Once a judge or jury rules on a particular issue, it becomes precedent  other judges and juries should follow that example Common Law - Parens patriae (responsibility and authority to care) PSY240H5 – Introduction toAbnormal Psychology Lecture 3 – January 20, 2014 o Common law has set the precedent that we have the responsibility to take care of each other o Example: If you hit someone because they are a tree, they have the responsibility to help and get you treatment - Involuntary commitment (civil and criminal) o One of the power of mental health professionals o The initial commitment is for an assessment (civil commitment = hospital)  Where the judge says the person is not normal, and then refers him to a hospital for a formal assessment  It is a long on going process that differs from province to province, usually for 72 hours  This person has to go to this facility and be assessed  After the 72 hour period, it is determined if the person is detained (continued or not) o Criminal commitment = prison Involuntary Commitment - Must be suffering from a mental disorder o You must have a DSM mental disorder o Murder is considered normal behaviour - Unwilling or incapable of consent o If you do not understand the criminal proceedings against you, you are unfit to stand trial o If you cannot mentally participate in the proceedings against you, you are not fit to stand trial (constitutional law) - Be at risk of harming (self or others) o If it is determined by mental health professions that you are a risk of harming yourself or other people, you can be committed involuntary (common law) o This was set as precedent (common law) o Tarasoff Case: set the precedent of common law throughout America  Someone says, “I’m going to hurt somebody else”, “I feel like I need to hurt this person”  This is not only ethical outcome, but there
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